Later today, when the world finds proper axis, this will all look better. For now, either someone slipped me an LSD-laced brownie, or this is just one friggin’ bizarre stretch of baseball. Curt Schilling blows a 4-run lead against the Tampa Bay Devil Rays. Those same Rays are poised to sweep the World Champion Boston Red Sox (By the way, I still love the way that sounds). The Yankees are in dead last, the Royals being the only AL team with a worse record. We are definitely not in Kansas anymore.

It all looked so good for a while. As good as indoor baseball at the Trop gets anyway (which is better than the 30-degree weather at Wrigley, I guess). Schilling was cruising, keeping the pitch count down. Big Papi was peppering the fans with monster homeruns. Then around the 5th inning, things started getting weird. Tampa was chipping away at the lead. Casey Fossum was silencing the Red Sox bats. Cats and dogs were sipping martinis poolside and reminiscing about the good old days. And just like that, it will be up to Bronson Arroyo to prevent the deadly sweep.

Schilling is now 1-2 with a Kevin Brown-like 7.13 ERA. His stuff looked pretty good, velocity was up there, and he didn’t walk anyone. Schilling will be OK, this is still spring training for him after his off-season surgery. Maybe you can say this about any pitcher’s bad outings, but take away the gopher ball to Gonzalez and the 0-2 mistake to Travis Lee, and this becomes a damn good outing.

As much as losing to Tampa Bay with Schilling on the mound sucks, I get a perverse pleasure looking at what it did to the standings;

American League East

Baltimore 11-7
Boston 10-8
Toronto 9-10
Tampa Bay 8-10
N.Y. Yankees 7-11

I know it won’t last, but I’ll enjoy it while I can. Although, the Yankees do have problems. Not the least of which is Jaret Wright leaving the game with a shoulder injury. With Tanyon Sturtze already on the DL, Brown sucking, and the Unit with an ERA around 5, pitching is a major issue. The Rangers look to come into Ruth’s house, brooms in hand, behind Pedro Astacio.

To the Sox: Bronson, please right this ship. Boys, bring your big bats and make this a Sunday afternoon laugher. Don’t make us hear “you just have to tip your cap” or “we’ll keep battling”. Grab a win in Tampa, and come on home for the early-season showdown with Baltimore. Goodnight.